Black Elk: Native American Man of Spirit


This engaging introduction to Black Elk will show you how one person can accomplish big things.

This colorful book introduces you to the world of Black Elk, one of the most amazing people of the twentieth century. You will learn about Black Elk's life—from his childhood in the American West to his efforts to teach the world about his people’s religion and culture, preserving the Native American way of life—and his belief that we all have the power to make the world a better ...

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Black Elk: Native American Man of Spirit

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This engaging introduction to Black Elk will show you how one person can accomplish big things.

This colorful book introduces you to the world of Black Elk, one of the most amazing people of the twentieth century. You will learn about Black Elk's life—from his childhood in the American West to his efforts to teach the world about his people’s religion and culture, preserving the Native American way of life—and his belief that we all have the power to make the world a better place. Through enjoyable biography, activities inspired by Black Elk’s values and beliefs, and his own words, you will see how one person can have a positive influence on the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Shows young readers that when we talk about our dreams and visions it can inspire others to dream as well. By hearing Black Elk's own words, as written down by John Neihardt, children will learn not only about the history of the Lakota people, but of a way of thinking and speaking that opens our hearts to Mother Earth and Father Sky."
Evan Pritchard, author of No Word for Time: The Way of the Algonquin People

“This interactive book about Black Elk, a Native American visionary, could not be more timely. Maura Shaw tells a magical and compelling tale of harmony and love that will inspire your child’s spirit.”
Rev. August Gold, author of Where Does God Live?

“This beautiful new book catches Black Elk’s fire—clear, lucid narration, a fine sense for the essential, and excellent illustrations and design all combining to give Black Elk’s vision new life for a new generation. I am grateful for this book.”
Douglas Wood, author of Old Turtle

Friends Journal - Abby McNear

Black Elk is the biography of Black Elk, a famed spiritual leader of the Oglala Lakota Sioux and a performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. The book is one in a series of Spiritual Biographies for Young People, and the subject is well chosen. Black Elk led a fascinating life during a pivotd period for the Sioux nation, from his birth in 1863 until his death in 1950.

His greatest contribution may have been the preservation of Oglala Lakota Sioux spiritual beliefs and practices, recorded in detail, thanla to months of interviews, in the book Black Elk Speaks, by poet John Neihardt. Although the book met with limited success upon its publication in 1932, it was responsible for a resurgence in the 1960s of the spiritual practices it described, thereby preserving these practices for furure generations. Ultimately, the impact of this book was the fulfillment of a propheticdream Black Elk had had as a child.

Black Elk is an exceptionally well-coordinated book. It is interactive, with a project, game, timeline, and glossary. The book uses photos and artwork, combined in an interactive layout that makes the biography particularly engaging for young readers. Quakers will particularly appreciate the book's message of how a life can bear spiritual fruit in the most unexpected ways and with the most unexpected timing.

Grand Rapids Press - Sue Stauffacher

Inspect these biographies of quiet rebels who led society to the greater good.

Poet and writer Nikki Giovanni brings into sharp focus the common place details that led to one of the defining moments in American history in "Rosa", illustrated by Brian Collier.A hardworking seamstress, Parks, who died Oct. 24, was let off early on the afternoon of Dec. 1,1955, to tend to her ailing mother. If she had enough time, she was going to make a meat loaf for her husband.What she did instead, was set into motion a string of events that would ignite the battle for civil rights.

She refused to move from the "neutral" section of the bus" where blacks were allowed to sit as long as there was room. As Rosa refused to move, folks quickly exited the bus, hoping to avoid "trouble". But she drew on her faith and the.strength of her mother and grandmother to keep her seat, Giovanni concludes this tale with the words: "The integrify, the dignity, the quiet strength of Rosa Parks turned her no into a YES for change."

Black Elk leader for the Oglala Lakota Sioux of the Western Plains, learned early he would lead his people toward a vision of unity, equality and peace.

Atthe age of 9,during an extended illness, Black EIk had a dream in which he saw all of creation nestled beneath "the sacred hoop of the world." He went on to teach and pass on the elements of his Indlan culture. In "Black Elk Native American Man of Spirit" by Maura D. Shaw, children will learn about this remarkable figure.

Included in the brief biography are sorn€ of Black Elk's teaching tales as well as activities to reinforce the text. Readers learn of Black Elk's friendship with ]ohn Neihardt, who carefully recorded the wise man's teachings in a book

Children's Literature
In keeping with the theme in the series "Spiritual Biographies for Young People," this book speaks of a gentle soul who helped many with his philosophies of life. While the book may be called a quiet book, it should be a prominent book in the school's biography section and must not be overlooked. Black Elk's life is shown in book sections that include information about his spirit dream, the warrior he was, the recording of his life by John Neihardt, and his storytelling. Original two-tone photos plus soothing, thoughtful soft-textured illustrations add to the written material. A special end section about the meaning of names offers readers the opportunity to examine their own ideas, strengths, and doings as they decide on a name for themselves. Other end matter includes a page about a fishing incident when Black Elk was young, an activity for readers to try which will help them understand how to care for mother earth, a timeline, and glossary. Classrooms will benefit when this book is added to their social studies and history units. 2004, SkyLight Paths Publishing, Ages 7 up.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594730436
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Series: Spiritual Biographies for Young Readers Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,472,711
  • Age range: 5 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.14 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Maura D. Shaw is the author of several books for young readers, including the award-winning Ten Amazing People: And How They Changed the World, the historical novel Owl's Journey, and Gandhi: India's Great Soul. Her nondenominational handbook of Earth-honoring activities for parents and children, Celebrating the Great Mother, is popular with families and groups.

Stephen Marchesi has created numerous drawings for textbooks, magazines, and picture books, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington; Meet Abraham Lincoln; Mary McLeod Bethune: Voice of Black Hope; and Mars: The Red Planet. A graduate of Pratt Institute, his books have been on the Children's Book Council bestsellers list and on the Bank Street College Children's Book of the Year lists.

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